Custom events

Barb Bickford leading a group who are standing in a semicircle

Custom Events 

We design meetings and events to fit our clients' needs. Among the events we have designed and led are:

-- science meetings
-- board retreats
-- strategic planning sessions
-- public participation processes
-- staff retreats
-- networking events
-- restorative retreats for groups and individuals

If you would like us to facilitate an event or retreat for your group, schedule a conversation to share what you have in mind. 

Custom Workshops

The following workshops introduce groups to powerful tools and practices for working collaboratively. Most work well for conferences, staff meetings and lunchtime seminars. 

A chart of an infinity sign

Grow and Let Go

Living things – including projects and organizations – are in a constant flow of growth and renewal. In this workshop, you'll use a tool (the Ecocycle) that can help you view, organize, and prioritize what you are doing now and identify obstacles and opportunities for progress. 90 minutes,

Schedule this workshop for your group.

Quick (and Fun!) Planning Tools

Align your organization toward united action! In less time than you'd think possible, you can both draft a Why-focused mission statement and gain new insights on how to implement your Why in the coming months or year. 

In two 90 minute sessions and with a couple more sessions with your group, you can draft the essentials of a strategic plan that is both structured and flexible. 

Book a short meeting to work out the details.  


How can you get just a little more rest?

Being well-rested isn't just about getting a good night's sleep. In this 90 to 120 minute workshop, you'll learn about eight types of rest, experience several of them, take an inventory of your rest and make a plan for getting just a little more rest.

If you are interested in hosting a RestUp workshop tailored to your group, contact RestUP.

Three people at a table, talking with one another

Improve Engagement in Your Meetings

In 60 to 90 minutes, your group will experience three versatile easy-to-learn activities that will increase participation in your meetings. We sprinkle in 10 or more practical tips that will help your group engage more.

The format of this workshop is easily adaptable, so if engagement isn't an issue for you, you can choose a different topic!  

Set up a time to discuss what you want your group to do. 

 a group of business people fully engaged in a meeting

Create Focused and Productive Meetings
Pre-empt common ways that meetings go off-track by spending a few minutes before the meeting to create a clear, actionable agenda.

Raise the bar on your team's meeting practices, save time and keep meetings on track!

Two images of people listening to one another with curiosity

Better Communication:
An Introduction to Clean Language

Want to improve communication in your workplace, organization and life? Experience listening at a deeper level by using just a few very versatile, un-biased and non-leading questions.

Read this introduction to Clean language, then set up a time to talk about what your group would like to have happen. We can do an introductory workshop.

Or,for a broader view of how to improve conversations, we offer a series of 6 one-hour workshops.  

 A doodle of serious looking board members

Beyond Bob:
Alternatives to Robert's Rules

In this session, we separate the myth from the method and identify ways to begin shifting your meetings towards more collaboration and inclusiveness. Then we take it a step farther by practicing alternatives you can use even if your bylaws require using Robert's Rules. 

60 minutes or longer, online or in person. In longer workshops, we guide your group to identify what isn't working and list next steps for imrpoving its decision-making process. Book a short meeting to tell us what bugs you about Robert's Rules. 

The top of a small table, covered with pretty cards.

Transitions Retreats

If your team or a group is going through a transition, we'd be delighted to support you with a in-person retreat, which can be from 6 hours to 3 days long. We explore transitions and loss through reflective journaling, small group conversations, gentle movement and intuitive art. No talent is needed, only curiosity is a must!  

Schedule a meeting with us if interested in hosting a Transitions event or retreat for your group.  More information is on our Transitions Retreats page. 



Pricing Event fees depend on whether the event is in person or online, the amount of preparation required and the size of the group. 
Online events are usually hosted by us on our zoom account,  
In-person events For in-person events, clients are expected to reimburse the facilitator(s) for transportation, lodging and food. Clients provide the venue, food and refreshments (if any) and some or all of the supplies for the event itself. Clients also invite their own participants and keep them informed of event details. We put all these things in writing so it's clear who's responsible for what. 
Let us know what you would like to have happen with your group! 

Typical comments from workshop participants

  • "I love Barb's sense of humor and her easy-going style."
  • "One of the finest courses I have taken!"
  • "Materials were well-prepared, clear, and will be easy to refer to as we continue our practice."
  • "I loved Barb's approach to this -- it was fun and engaging without being pretentious."
  • "Barb took us as we are and helped us to grow."
  • "I appreciated the relevant material and format, the variety of engaging activities, and the willingness to adapt to the group's needs."
  • "Very professional!"

[Before taking the Quick Planning workshop,] we were quite scattered, and unsure, on how to approach a solution to a problem we were having.

Through the steps of the workshop, we were able to narrow down the priorities of the project, identify where we needed support, and formulate a plan for executing what we needed to solve the problem.

The steps were clear and manageable. We appreciated having time during the session to get ideas started that we were easily able to pick up again on our own time.


I was looking for an easy, accessible, and effective annual planning process that could be used for two different organizations. I heard about this seminar and immediately thought it would be helpful.

Presenting the Ecocycle provided a church group I was involved with some perspective on where they have been, where they are now, and where they need to be going forward. The questions also provided the group with important discussion topics and direction for their priorities for this year.

The seminar provided me with both new insights and information, and a chance to practice these new insights.

Church Leader

"We were extremely impressed by how Barb and Sandy worked with us. Their approach was easy and collaborative.

One of the things that we needed to work out together was a pricing structure. They started by asking questions, learning as much as they could about us, including how we did the financial side of our ministry, and then made good, solid business suggestions based on our answers. They were always respectful, never telling us what to do but instead, asking "have you thought about X?" They wanted it to be a win-win-win for us, themselves and the retreatants.

The new sliding scale pricing structure that we worked out together not only benefited our retreat center financially, but their retreat was well attended and even attracted new people who had not heard of us before. Working with Barb and Sandy has given us the confidence to be more open to other financial arrangements."

-- Adele DiNatale-Svetnicka 
Retreat and Program Coordinator
St. Anthony's Spirituality Center

 Contact us about how we can support your group!  

Sign up for emails

News, announcements and tips for improving your meetings

No spam. Only relevant offers.

Want to explore whether we’re meant to work with each other?
Book your 30 minute no obligation complimentary conversation.

Appointment Type: Meet with Barb for 30 minutes